It hurts. I breathe in and my lungs feel like they are on fire. I held my breath for too long. No hair out, No air in. I always looked my best, And still it wasn’t good enough, Constantly feeling under probation. I tried my best, But my best wasn’t good enough for you, You didn’t pick me. Shattered. I lost count, How many days; I cried myself to sleep, I cried in the shower, I tuned the highest volume as I screamed my lungs out. But You, You made me feel like I wasn’t good enough. Like you couldn’t get rid of me fast enough. You made me feel stupid even without opening your mouth. Still I tried. I tried being her, I apologized when you hurt me, I cooked your favorite meal, I ironed your shirts, I laughed at your jokes even when they were not funny. I stopped going to church, It was taking too much of your time you said. Wear skirts I don’t like your dresses- I did. I tried. I tried being her. I almost forgot being myself. I stopped reading- I was too busy auditioning for the perfect girl position. I blocked my friends coz you didn’t like them. I stopped making my hair the long waves I loved, Because it was “attracting too much attention” you said. Still I tried. And I waited Yes, I did. For you to change, For me to get that role. I waited. That’s why so hard I tried. But still I wasn’t good enough, It was a position you knew I will never have. But you watched as I killed myself trying, You cheered me on as I destroyed myself trying to be her. Then when you couldn’t break me any smaller, You left. You left my little broken pieces to be lost. But in that rubble of the dust you had reduced me to, I found myself. Though it took me the longest time, I did. I found myself, New and stronger. I took back the power I lost. Step by step, I built an armored palace, Walls so high, That none can climb up. They call me stone hearted, Others says it will take hell fire to thaw my frozen heart. I look at them and smile. They don’t know, The battles scars I hide beneath. But they see the scorching light within, No one comes near, Afraid I might burn them. I’m okay with that. I almost lost everything to find myself, But I did. It’s no longer easy to get hurt. I found myself. I no longer look for validation. I make good use of any situation. I no longer cry myself to sleep, In all my problems I find solutions. And I am now happy, Because, At last, I found myself.